Soccer in brief: Seven straight wins for Foxes
Second-half goals from Jamie Vardy and Ritchie De Laet gave Leicester a 2-0 victory over Middlesbrough at the King Power Stadium.
Leicester's seventh win in a row – the first time they have put together such a run since 1993 – gave them an eight-point lead at the top of the Championship table.
Vardy scored his 10th goal of the season with a close-range finish in the 52nd minute and De Laet netted with a far-post header in the 73rd minute. In between, Shay Given saved a David Nugent penalty.
FRYATT ON FIRE AT SOUTHEND
Hull safely negotiated a trip to League Two Southend as Matty Fryatt's second-half double proved enough for victory at Roots Hall over former manager Phil Brown in the FA Cup fourth round.
Fryatt's first arrived on the 62nd-minute mark when he latched on to a loose ball in a crowded box to drive a low effort into the bottom right corner.
Robbie Brady came on after 73 minutes but Fryatt made sure of progress to the next round when he cracked home a second in stoppage time after collecting a ball down the right and cutting in at the near post.
BRIGHTON WIN MUDDY BATTLE
Brighton battled through the mud to see off a spirited effort from hosts Port Vale and seal their place in round five of the FA Cup with a 3-1 victory.
Brighton broke the deadlock in the 27th minute when Rohan Ince cushioned a classy left-foot finish high inside Chris Neal's left-hand post from 12 yards.
The goal roused Vale into action and Chris Robertson headed a 36th-minute equaliser. Brighton regained the lead in fortuitous fashion two minutes before the interval. Andrea Orlandi rolled a short corner towards Solly March and the midfielder's intended right-foot cross looped over everyone and the ball dropped inside the stranded Neal's right-hand post.
The visitors grabbed a deserved third goal 12 minutes from time. Jon Obika sprinted clear of the Vale defence and the on-loan striker from Tottenham rounded Neal and rolled a left foot shot into an empty net from 12 yards.
HAMMERS LAND ITALIAN STARS
Italy internationals Antonio Nocerino and Marco Borriello have left Serie A to join West Ham on loan until the end of the season.
28-year-old Nocerino arrives from AC Milan, where he has lost his regular place. Nocerino played at the European Championship in 2012 but made the last of his 15 appearances for Italy in September that year.
Borriello, capped seven times by his country, has left Roma during his second spell with the capital club. The signings are a real coup for West Ham, who are in the Premier League's relegation zone.
RONALDO SENDS MADRID TOP
Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 22nd La Liga goal of the season to set Real Madrid on their way to a laboured 2-0 win at home to Granada yesterday that lifted them above Barcelona and Atletico Madrid to the top of the standings.
Real had struggled to dominate their lowly opponents but Ronaldo struck 11 minutes into the second period to squeeze a shot into the bottom corner despite the attentions of several defenders.
Karim Benzema slotted home to make it 2-0 in the 74th minute.
BENDER TWINS ON THE DOUBLE
Twins Lars and Sven Bender achieved another milestone in their parallel careers after scoring within a minute of each other as the Bundesliga restarted following its mid-season break yesterday.
Lars drilled the ball home in the fourth minute for Bayer Leverkusen against Freiburg, while Sven notched a fifth minute opener for Borussia Dortmund in their clash with Augsburg.